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Everyone has laundry to do. Some people do their own, while others do the whole household's laundry. I am fortunate to have a boyfriend that does his own laundry and helps me with the household laundry. I have been teaching Syfy to do his own laundry, in an effort to give him life skills that his future partner will appreciate me for.
DIY works just as effectively
I have previously posted about the basic cleaning supplies that you can DIY to clean your home, but today we will begin going more in-depth with my room by room series on green cleaning. Since my very first attempt at making my own laundry soap, I have gotten the chance to utilize that batch of powdered laundry soap on every bit of laundry in my house. I was definitely skeptical at first, I mean we have all been trained by commercials that there is no way that anything outside of commercially produced products, will be as effective. After testing out this generalization, I have personally concluded that my homemade powdered laundry soap is FAR more effective than my powdered Tide EVER was. Not only are my clothes brighter and whiter but they also seem to FEEL cleaner as well.
Liquid Laundry Soap
I found this recipe in the Chemerical cookbook. I loved the documentary so much that I had to also get the recipe book!
- In a large pan (4 QT or larger), boil 4 cups of water.
- Add the soap flakes to the boiling water and dissolve over LOW heat.
- Stir in the washing soda and borax until it disappears.
- Add 30 cups of water to the mixture and combine.
- Like a good jar of natural peanut butter, this one needs to be stirred before use!
Powdered Laundry Soap
Although this recipe works well for cleaning my laundry, over time I managed to create another homemade powdered laundry soap that I also love to use now.
- 2 cups soap flakes
- 2 cups baking soda
- 1 cup borax
- 1 cup washing soda
- 1 cup natural laundry softener crystals (optional – makes your clothes VERY soft!!!)
- Combine all of the ingredients in a glass jar.
- Use 1/4 – 1/2 cup per load. This is safe for HE washers too!
Fabric Softener & Static Cling
There are several different options that you can utilize for softening clothes or removing static cling. The main reason that we use softeners in our laundry is to remove the static cling from the clothing in the dryer. I have been utilize two natural methods to soften my clothing and they have been very effective; during the wash cycle I use distilled white vinegar and during the dry cycle, I use a wool dryer ball.
- During the wash cycle – Add 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar during the rinse cycle. I have a softener area in my washer, so I just fill to the “max fill” line in mine; which happens to be exactly 1/2 cup! You can also add the vinegar to a Downy Softener Ball if your washer does not have a section for liquid softener.
- During the dry cycle – Add 3-6 wool dryer balls to your dryer. Allow them to dry with your clothing through the entire dry cycle. Dryer balls will not only reduce static cling in your dryer, but they also reduce the amount of time needed to dry your clothes! If you would like to add a fresh scent to your laundry, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the dryer balls during the last 5 minutes of the dry cycle.
Whiten and brighten your clothes
There are several basic whiteners that you can use to whiten and brighten your clothing! My personal favorite whitening option in the laundry is oxygen bleach, but I've successfully used all of these options.
Add 2 Tbsp. oxygen bleach to every load. For whiter whites, use hot water and allow the clothing to pre-soak for 20 minutes before washing. You can also use to pre-treat stains before the wash.
Add 1/2 cup lemon juice to your washer during the rinse cycle! Lemons are nature's natural bleach! They will whiten anything from wood, hair, and even clothing!
Add 1/2 cup borax or washing soda to your laundry. Minerals are powerful laundry boosters. They utilize their superpowers by brightening clothing and removing the gray color that chemical laundry detergents can leave.
Add 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide to your liquid bleach section in the washer, or straight into the washer during the rinse cycle. Everyone knows that this stuff is made to bleach things naturally! I even have a recipe for a homemade natural bleach alternative that utilizes both hydrogen peroxide and lemon juice!
For starch lovers
If you are one of those rare people that still starch their clothes, never fear, The Hippy Homemaker is here! It's really easy to make your own starch!
- Add cornstarch and water to a spray bottle and shake to dissolve.
- Shake before each use to mix. Spray on clothing and iron